Good for the Fish, Good for the River

Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii)

This is Passport to Texas.

Anglers like Courtney and Brandon Robinson are chasing Guadalupe bass, the state fish of Texas.

Fish on! This is why I love catching Guads. They’re little fish but they use the river to fight.

Guadalupe bass once seemed headed for extinction. In the 1970s, state biologists stocked non-native smallmouth bass in Texas rivers. They didn’t expect the smallmouths would cross-breed with native fish. But they did, producing hybrid offspring that were no longer pure Guadalupes.

From 1990s through roughly 2010 almost a million Guadalupe bass were stocked in the river and it drove down the hybridization rates dramatically.

Tim Birdsong once played pro baseball for the Cincinnati Reds. Today he leads Texas Parks and Wildlife efforts to restore river watersheds.

 [The] Guadalupe bass is representative of that whole set of species and some of those are considered imperiled; they may only occur in one river and nowhere else in the world. And it’s a little bit more difficult to get enthusiasm around conserving a minnow or conserving an imperiled freshwater mussel, but what’s good for Guadalupe bass is generally good for those other species.

Learn more about the Guadalupe Bass in July on our podcast Under the Texas Sky. Find it on Spotify, iTunes and other places where you get your podcasts.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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